Bicolano cuisine is characterized by spiciness and the use of gata (coconut cream): the spiciness gives the dishes a certain excitement while the gata gives them a distinct richness.
I’m not much of a Bicolano food fan myself (but I’m willing to give almost anything a try) so during lunch with my officemates, I found myself trying out a newly opened restaurant along Mother Ignacia Street – Gata: Flavors of Bicolandia, Atbp.
The resto’s interiors have a bright and airy feel; its walls are even adorned by a large colorful mural as well as paintings that depict food and food preparation.
For our lunch, we ordered some of Bicol’s most popular dishes:
- The ever-present Laing (Php235) made of dried gabi leaves sourced directly from Bicol
- Adobong Bicolano Liempo (Php250), Bicol’s traditional way of cooking adobo characterized by the lack of sauce
- Piniritong Manok ni Lola (Php230), homestyle fried chicken, cooked like how grandma does it 🙂
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Got a taste of the #flavorsofbicolandia at @gatarestaurant: #Laing (Php235), #AdobongBicolano Liempo (Php250) and #FriedChicken (Php230). Check out my review at beingjellybeans.wordpress.com (search: Gata). #bicolandia #bicolanodish #bicolanocuisine #bicolanocuisine #foodie #foodiegram #foodgasm
The flavors are familiar and comforting but the serving portions are on the small side. That said, my dining experience here certainly merits another visit.
Update: I recently attended a Zomato Foodie Meetup held here. Together with fellow Zomato foodies, I was able to taste more of Gata’s signature Bicolano dishes such as:
- Sinantol with Kamote Chips (Php190). Great for vegetarians, this dish pairs deep-fried kamote (sweet potato) chips with the tangy sinantol which consist of finely grated santol rind cooked in coconut milk.
- Laing Bites with Gata Sauce (Php180). Another all-veggie dish, this features laing wrapped in deep-fried wonton and served with a homemade gata sauce.
- Cocido na Buong Lapu-Lapu (Php495). Bicol’s version of Sinigang, it is less sour but still has a hearty broth.
- Kare-Kareng Bagnet (Php330). At last I was able to taste this dish made of sizeable slices of pork belly served with a gata-infused kare-kare sauce.
- Kinunot na Pagi (Php295). Flakes of stingray meat simmered in gata, quite a new foodie adventure for me! (Trivia: There’s a joke that when a Bicolano takes some gata to the beach, the sharks and stingrays get the hell outta the way!)
- Halo-Halo Turon with Ice Cream (Php110). Classic halo-halo ingredients in lumpia wrapper then deep-fried and served with vanilla ice cream.
Gata: Flavors of Bicolandia, Atbp is located at Unit 3, The Grandia Place, Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City. It is open everyday from 11.30am to 3pm and 4pm to 10pm. For reservations, call +63 995 4627251.
Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant. Food items specified here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.
Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:
- The Lechon Shop, Tomas Morato
- Angus Tapa Centrale, Tomas Morato
- Gerry’s Grill, Tomas Morato
- Luna J Filipino Gastropub, Tomas Morato
- Gerry’s Grill, SM Marikina
- Bacolod Chicken Parilla, Tomas Morato
- Classic Savory, SM East Ortigas
- Jaytee’s Tagaytay
- Buddy’s, Cubao
- Cabalen, Ayala Malls Feliz
- Limbaga 77, Tomas Morato
- Victorino’s, Tomas Morato
Want to learn how to cook your favorite Filipino dishes at home? Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com!
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